Thursday, November 16, 2006

He Had An Ethnic Name

He had an ethnic name. He probably had an ethnic face—dark hair, dark eyes, dark face. Ethnic. And he didn't have ID.

It was dark outside the library. Night time on the UCLA campus. Almost midnight. There were students inside studying, and students need to be safe. You have to show ID when the authorities periodically come thru.

Now this ethnic man couldn't produce his papers. And you're not allowed in the library if you can't show your ID. So the authorities called the police. And when they showed up, the man got up to leave.

He began walking to the door with his backpack slung over his shoulder. Then an officer grabbed him arm, which made the man angry—this ethnic man who probably had brown skin and probably had brown hair. And the man got angry.

Get off me! he yelled.

When the police department says that the officers didn't shoot him, what they really mean is that no bullets were involved. But they did shoot the man, and he screamed in pitiful agony as thousands of volts pulsed thru his body.

Don't touch me. DON'T TOUCH ME! he yelled at the top of his lungs afterwards. And he cursed their abuse of authority. And he criticized the Patriot Act. And he used foul language.

Stand up, the officers shouted as he hung limply. Stand up! STAND! UP!

Again and again they shouted at him. And when he wouldn't or couldn't stand up, they shot him again and again, several seconds at a time. And his long screams of pain repeatedly filled the halls.

Students began to gather from all parts of the library. Some took photos. One videotaped almost the whole thing. They were all clearly petrified. Some began to object. Some were asking the police for their badge numbers. The officers refused and told the nervous crowd to stand back or else they would tase them, too.

He had an ethnic name.
He didn't have his papers.
He tried to leave, as they told him to do.
And they shot him with thousands of volts of electricity when he got mad.

Afterwards, a sergeant minimized the episode by saying, "If he was able to walk out of here, I think he was ok."

I see. My mistake. I was thinking that this didn't sound much like my America. But you see, I have an ethnic name. And my skin looks kinda dark. My bad. He walked out of there ok, after all. It must have been alright.

Some sources:,0,4794591.story?coll=la-home-headlines

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